This is a small restaurant located off from the busy “Triangle” situated on the corner of “York Street”. This is a recently opened Italian theme establishment and on my day of visit had only been open for less than 48 hours. The restaurant is open for breakfast until dinner and serves all meal times between including brunch and the owners are trying to push an Italian habit of drinks/coffee and a snack/cakes between 5-6pm after finishing work (Just because us English already dont eat enough!!).
The restaurant inside is very nicely decorated to a modern feel, with bright colours throughout and is very bright upstairs due to the large windows. Downstairs there is a mix of industrial styles with 1 entire wall being unfinished concrete with a few frames hung on the wall with chalk wrote specials wrote directly on the wall. The floor again is bright with beach wood paneling used and light pale blue colours throughout. The tables are very cleanly decorated with no table clothes used, exposing the light beach wood, with small and neat folded napkins placed and individual flowers placed in the centre in small metal buckets.
We were eating for Lunch at this time and at 1:30pm the restaurant was already packed with only 1 spare table. Upon being seated our drinks order were quickly taken and we were handed menu’s which are printed on A4 paper, which as this restaurant is pushing local/seasonal produce im assuming this makes for changing the menu’s daily/seasonally much easier. The menu consists of traditional Italian favorites such as lasagna and a large Antipasti selection, also there are various sandwiches/bruschetta with different toppings they also offer the ability to customise this selection with any extra toppings.
I decided to go with a small Lasagna Al Forno, after eyeing the Tiramisu or Bread and Butter pudding for dessert. After placing the order the food took approx 20-25mins to be served, however this was at an extremely busy time so normally I would expect the wait to be abit shorter, also you need to expect a small wait due to fresh food prepared etc.
Lasagna Al Forno – This was served in a lovely rustic looking style and looked lovely to the eye, with the fresh salad adding great colour to the dish. The lasagna it self was obviously home made as the flavour was brilliant, with good hints of garlic and cheese throughout. Between the sheets of perfectly cooked pasta their consisted large pieces of meat which is normally what is missing from lasagna I find. There was also the white cheese sauce which was not overpowering to the dish and was not provided in a large quantity allowing the tomato and meat flavours to come through, the cheese on top added a nice crunch also. The salad was excellent with the crisp salad leaves, and strips of carrot added good crunch to the dish, there was a dressing also which had a strong taste of garlic and was an excellent marriage to the salad. The bread provided was your standard baguette style, but was good and fresh. This was a very good dish with good flavours and for £3.95 I couldn’t believe the value. My only minor complaint being is that I think it could have been served slightly hotter, it was hot but normally I would like to see it still very hot and cheese slightly bubbling.
Chocolate Panetone bread & butter pudding with vanilla ice cream – Being a big fan of traditional English puddings I was interested to see how the Panetone would work in this pudding. My first bite was of the crisp outer edge and immediately I was surprised by the sweetness the Panteone bread provided and also the abundance of fruit within the bread, this was all sorts of dry fruit and rind. The pudding was excellently cooked with the outer edges being firmer and having a slight crust, but the middle being extremely gooey and the custard being only just set. This was served just warm which was excellent as it allowed the ice cream just to slightly melt, the ice cream again was beautiful being packed full of vanilla seeds and had a strong flavour and was a lovely accompaniment. Normally I would have liked to have custard with this pudding but with the use of the Panetone bread this was not required and the pudding was sweet enough.
Value – The value was incredible with the total meal came to £10 with tip, and I really cant complain at this cost. The lasagne was a particular great value dish at only £3.95 I would return for this everyday if I could.
Service – The service was excellent with the different waiters being extremely polite and good with taking orders etc. The waiter who took over our table towards the end of our lunch however needs a particular mention, he was extremely chatty and had a great attitude towards the customer and provided great light humour to the service.
Overall – 9/10
This is an excellent small up and coming establishment, and if they can keep standards at what they are at the moment I can see this place going from strength to strength. They offer excellent fresh food and from my experience very good service with a laugh/chat provided as well.
Cant wait to return to try their dinner menu.